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App Promo Critique

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Stephen Schuknecht
App Promo Critique
on Jul 25, 2016 at 4:24:47 pm

I've been getting into some video work recently (which has been a little overwhelming!) and could definitely use some advice. :)

I didn't see a critique board so forgive me if this is in the wrong spot. I just did two promo videos for this app I designed.

Video #1:





Video #2:





Would you all be willing to take a look and critique? Basically the client had no idea what they wanted, so I came up with a storyboard and then filmed and edited it. This is the first of this type of video that I've done. I mainly do print design so the video has been a whole new animal. Most of my experience with premiere pro has been short informational videos, nothing creative just straight on shots with a bit of text.

Also, these videos are targeted for people already familiar with the clothing line. The apps just make things easier to sell and buy items.

Thanks!


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Nick Griffin
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 25, 2016 at 6:51:47 pm

Wow! If this is the FIRST effort of a print designer you may have a serious video career ahead of you. Not saying to give up your day job, because this can be a very fickle business. Do keep adding to your skill set in all media and you'll be competitive in a brutal world.


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Stephen Schuknecht
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 25, 2016 at 7:19:09 pm

Thank you! Definitely trying to broaden my skill set. It was a totally different experience working with people in this situation. I had come up with a storyboard and done a lot of planning beforehand, but I was sweating bullets the day of the shoot. The clients who hired me modeled in the video, neither one was experienced so they were looking to me for direction (I was about equally as experienced in this situation!). This was the first time I had used some of the video equipment (follow focus, ext. monitor, shoulder rig). Talk about pressure! But it was fun, and I'm hoping to do more videos like this in the future.


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Nathan Walters
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 25, 2016 at 7:57:22 pm

Really superb job. Especially as someone who is new to the video side of things.

Main thing that caught my eye was in the first video. The in camera recording of the screen; the screen seems a bit too dark. For a video like this, I think you'd want it a bit brighter so it captures your attention better and has more life to it. It's a fine line for sure though. Just maybe something to consider next time.

Great work!

Nathan Walters
Halo Union Productions
http://www.HaloUnion.com


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Stephen Schuknecht
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 25, 2016 at 8:09:53 pm

Thanks Nathan! I worried about how best to capture the screen. It ended up being slightly out of focus as well at a few points. I wish I knew After Effects! I've seen people take a screen recording of the app and replace it via green screen over the iphone.... definitely out of my skill level! The other thing I struggled with for these was my camera (Canon 7D), seemed like there was a lot of graininess in some of the shots and I couldn't really bump up the brightness without it getting worse. I had the ISO at 320 I think.


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Mark Suszko
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 25, 2016 at 8:24:46 pm

I'd call it Not Bad for a demo, particularly as a first effort, but IMO it's not a finished product yet. Some of this may be personal preference, so take it as you will. Being brutally honest here, and when you read this, understand that your work is good enough as a beginner that I'm "grading" it as if it were a seasoned pro's work.

Your lighting needs more work: not a lot of contrast , or way too much: too many shots seemed to be using only available light and had dark areas that detracted from the look. The actual dresses looked like they could use more artful lighting as well. Some of this, you might fix or moderate in a grading session in post. The next time you shoot, though, work on targeted lighting more.

I was not a fan of all the hand-held camerawork: little of it seemed "motivated" to be hand-held, and I think particularly when showing the app being used, those shots should be locked-down, presenting as little distraction as possible. DGMW: a lot of the shot *composition* was pretty pro looking, but the shakes didn't add energy, just an air of indecision.

The close-ups of the app are still WAY too teeny for me to see and "get" what's happening: Also, your explanatory copy running parallel with the demo means I'm dividing attention between the two and thus not really looking enough at either. If I could change ONE thing in your videos, it would be those close-ups: locked-off shots, REALLY tight, showing app, THEN app's effect, sequentially. Replace the printed explication with a voice-over, so your eye stays on the APP.

Finally, in terms of the editing, the pace is a bit slow at the beginning. You are showing too much "dead time" with the actors. You could compress this action all throughout the pieces, much tighter, using jump cuts.

I think you have a fine foundation here but it's those little details that take you over the top. Looking forward to the revisions, which I'm sure will be more effective.


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Tim Wilson
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 25, 2016 at 10:11:45 pm

[Stephen Schuknecht] "I wish I knew After Effects! I've seen people take a screen recording of the app and replace it via green screen over the iphone.... definitely out of my skill level! "

Don't rule that out too quickly, Stephen! Especially with mochaAE bundled with After Effects ("mocha" being the flagship product from Academy Sci Tech award winning Imagineer), it's drop-dead easy. Tutorials abound, as well as a VERY helpful AE community here in the COW.

There's a reason why people so often use this technique to address this challenge, and mochaAE really does make it easy!

I agree that you're otherwise VERY much on the right track. I'm also pleased that you're enjoying the work so far! It's a very rewarding skillset to add to what you've clearly already got going on. Using bundled effects to do the heavy lifting is definitely a pro trick that's worth learning. :-)


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Stephen Schuknecht
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 26, 2016 at 2:37:47 am

Mark, thanks for putting in the time to review the videos. I really appreciate the advice!

The videos are live and paid for, but I may try some of your changes for my own portfolio version. I agree on the lighting, still working on figuring that out, I probably need more powerful lights than what I brought. Probably should have used less of the shoulder rig as well. What tripod would you recommend? I have a Slik photo tripod but it's pretty jumpy for any kind of panning movement it's really just a "stills" tripod. Thanks again for the advice! I'm hoping more projects like this will come along so I can keep improving, it was nice to get away from print into a new media.


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Stephen Schuknecht
Re: App Promo Critique
on Jul 26, 2016 at 2:39:01 am

Tim, thanks! I'll have to look into mochaAE.


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